are now open for entries – celebrating the best product, people and places in the industry.
Drawing on the expertise of over 200 international judges, the WBA ensures that each beer is judged both rigorously and fairly to give it its best chance in the competition. Visitor Attraction
American Style Brown Ale
Amber to dark brown. Medium to low roast, caramel and chocolate-like aromas; hop flavour may deliver a citrusy character while bitterness is medium low to medium high. Body is medium to medium full. ABV 4.2-6.3%. SRM 10-35.
Tawny copper to dark brown. Suggestive blast of vinous fruit on aroma and palate with biscuity malt and spicy hops throughout. Bittersweet in finish but with good bitter hop balance; fatness of mouth feel from alcoholic strength, plus spirituous fieriness/booziness in young examples. American-style barley wines have a higher sense of bitterness and New World hop character than British-style. Generally, 8-12% ABV. SRM 11-22.
Belgian Style Dubbel
Amber to dark copper. Rich sweet maltiness on the nose suggestive of chocolate, toasted brioche or caramel; the nose can also feature dried fruit such as raisins as well as a hint of pepperiness from the hop; sometimes banana-like esters are also present. Rich on the palate with chocolate, toastiness or caramel, along with dried fruit — bitterness is medium and no spices (but if spices are used their character should be subtle). Medium to high carbonation. Includes Trappist ales of similar strength and colour. Generally, 6-7.5% ABV. SRM 10-36.
Belgian Style Strong
Amber to deep copper-brown. Expect dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, peppery hop and warming alcohol notes on the nose; palate also features chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, expressions of malt complexity and a long characterful finish. Covers beers that come under the Trappist and Abbey appellations, as well as Quadruples. Generally, 8-12% ABV. SRM 9-35.
English Style Brown Ale
Warm fermented, malty aroma and palate, often with chocolate, caramel, nutty, coffee or licorice notes. Light hops throughout but not dominating. Bittersweet finish with biscuity, malt and chocolate/coffee notes. Should not be roasty. Generally, 3-5.5% ABV. SRM 12-22.
Dark in colour though there is also a British tradition of light-coloured milds. Aroma is delicate and malt-accented with elements of caramel, grain, chocolate, mocha or light roastiness. Low bitterness on the palate with the emphasis on malt character, which can suggest chocolate, weak coffee, dark fruits or caramel, while the finish can be dry or sweet. Generally, 3.2-4.1% ABV, though there are stronger versions going up to 6%. Anything described as a Double or Imperial Mild (ie above 6%) should go into Strong. SRM 12-40.
Amber to deep copper-brown. Vinous fruit and roasted grain on the nose with peppery hop. Fruit and grain dominate the palate but bitter hops can balance fruit and malt in the finish. Can also include Strong or Imperial Brown Ale, Wee Heavy, Old Ale, Alt Stikke and Doppelstikke. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 9-35.
Amber to copper coloured. Medium-low to medium malt aroma alongside a recognizable but unobtrusive hop spiciness and subtle fruity esters — mild roast notes can sometimes be present. Rich malt character that can contrast well with a subtle peppery, spicy hop character, alongside light fruity esters; medium-bodied mouth feel. Clean, crisp and flavourful with a dry bittersweet finish. 4.3-5.6%. SRM 11-17.
Chocolate & Coffee
Any cold or warm fermented beer made with the addition of chocolate or coffee. Aroma and palate determined by the ingredient used. The ABV ranges can vary.
NB does not include coffee and chocolate stouts and porters. SRM 5-40.
Fruit & Vegetable
Any beer made with addition of fruits or vegetables. Aroma and palate determined by type of fruit/vegetable added. NB: not made by spontaneous fermentation. ABVs can vary. SRM 5-40.
Herb & Spice
Any cold or warm fermented beer made with an addition of herbs and spices, can also include ingredients such as heather, tea, flowers, botanicals or ginger as well as vegetables — aromas and palate determined by type of adjunct used. ABV ranges can vary. SRM 5-40.
Honey & Maple Syrup
Any cold or warm fermented beer made with addition of honey or maple syrup as well as extracts and flavourings — aromas and palate determined by type of honey/maple used. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 5-40.
Any cold or warm fermented beer. Rauchbier is associated with the Franconian city of Bamberg, using malt kilned over beech wood fires (though other woods including oak and cherry can be used), meaning that the smoke integrates deeply into the grain; though many other breweries throughout the world also attempt this style (information for judges: the method can be different from that of Bamberg with the normal kilned malt later put into a smoking chamber. That means that the smoke aroma is mostly attached to the outside of the grain, giving much less intensity and in general a different aroma); other variations on smoke flavoured beer can include the use of peat smoked barley. Aroma and palate can range from intense char to delicate peat smokiness. ABVs can vary. SRM 5-40.
Beers made with an addition of spirits, integrating the spirit taste into the beer. ABV ranges can vary. SRMs can vary.
Beer that has been aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel or has been in contact with wood. Aromas and palate determined by type of wood, such as new oak, used sherry, Bourbon, Scotch, port, wine etc barrels. Includes barrel-aged stouts and porters. ABV ranges can vary. SRM can vary.
Any stout or porter made with the addition of one or more of the many flavours used in brewing (can include ‘pastry’ stouts as well as ones flavoured with coffee and/or chocolate). Spiced stout or porter remains in this category. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 25+
Flavoured Wild/Sour Beer
Beers flavoured with added ingredients that can include fruit, spices and/or herbs; they can also make use of wild yeast strains, lactobacillus and/or pediococcus; can be either historical or modern. Quenching, refreshing and tart with added flavour well integrated without overwhelming the rest of the beer. Can include flavoured Berliner Weiss and Gose, though not Framboise, Kriek or other Fruit Lambics. ABVs and colours can vary.
See below for definitions of main IPAs.
Belgian — IPA demonstrating the fruitiness and spiciness that Belgian yeast gives
Fruit — use of fruits that can accentuate either the citrus or tropical fruit character of the hops
Rye — Hoppy and bitter, American hops with the rye contributing to a dry finish as well as to the mouthfeel
Red — hoppy, bitter and moderately strong with caramel, toffee and/or rich fruit malt character
White — fruity, spicy and refreshing version of an American IPA, featuring either distinctive yeast or spice additions typical of a witbier.
Brut — pale, dry, slightly effervescent, light grape-like fruitiness alongside the hop character.
Golden to light orange. Assertive and bolshy; hint of allium savouriness on the nose along deep booming citrus notes; plenty of citrus and tropical fruit on the palate, all balanced by a firm spine of malt. Long dry finish with plenty of bitterness showing through. Generally, 7-8.5% ABV though some can move above this — can include triple IPA. SRM 6-14.
Gold to light orange. Hop character to the fore on the aromatics (citrus, tropical fruit, pine), citrus/tropical fruit on the palate, medium bodied, dry bitter finish, generally 3.5%-4.5% though American versions can be higher. SRM 5-10.
Powerful hop resins and juicy citrus/tropical fruit on the nose with light malt. Juicy malt in the mouth but main character comes from hop resins and citrus/tropical fruit. Pale or light bronze. Can include West Coast, East Coast, Mountain and Cold versions. Generally, 4.8-7.5% ABV. SRM 6-14.
Golden to deep amber in colour. Aromas are floral, spicy-peppery or citrus-orange; low to moderate fruitiness. Hop character on palate is similar to aroma with a light biscuity, toffee-like maltiness in the background. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness. ABV 4.7-7.5%. SRM 6-14.
(includes fruit, rye, red, Belgian, white, honey, Brut, Sour, smoothie etc)
This is a catch-all style that recognises the boundary-pushing activities of brewers with IPA. The beer should be recognisable as an IPA by balance — a hop-forward, bitter, dryish beer — but with something else present to distinguish it from the standard categories. Brewers should notify what makes their IPA a specialty. ABVs and colours may vary but here is a basic guide: 5-7.5% ABV. SRM 5-19.
See below for definitions of main IPAs
— IPA demonstrating the fruitiness and spiciness that Belgian yeast gives
— use of fruits that can accentuate either the citrus or tropical fruit character of the hops
— Hoppy and bitter, American hops with the rye contributing to a dry finish as well as to the mouthfeel
— hoppy, bitter and moderately strong with caramel, toffee and/or rich fruit malt character
— fruity, spicy and refreshing version of an American IPA, featuring either distinctive yeast or spice additions typical of a witbier.
— pale, dry, slightly effervescent, light grape-like fruitiness alongside the hop character.
Colour ranging from dark chestnut to moonless night black. Manages to combine the rich tropical fruit/ripe peach skin/grapefruit notes of an American IPA with a hint of dark malts, though roastiness should be light. Palate is a mixture of light and shade with big hop character (grapefruit/lychee/orange perhaps) contrasted with a tarry (but not roast) dark maltiness. Lasting finish. Generally 4.7-7.5% ABV, though there are imperial versions. Also called India Dark Ale, Cascadian Dark and Hoppy Black Beer/Ale. SRM 25-40.
Milkshake IPA/New England IPAs
Light gold to dark orange in colour. Hazy. Hops generally used during fermentation, rather than the boil, which cuts down on the bitterness and the kind of hops used give it a juicy, tropical fruit character. Unfiltered, which means they are hazy. Often have added oats which gives a smooth mouth feel. Many are brewed with lactose and fruit purée (even though fruit puree is added it remains in this category rather than going into fruit IPA) to create a “milkshake” taste. ABVs can vary. SRM 4-10.
In all the style categories where a clear and bright beer is expected, a slight level of haziness is acceptable and will not be treated as a failure.
Rich malt aroma with a slightly toasted element but with light notes but no roasty notes; malt elegance on the palate with a rich toasty note, some caramel, medium body, no significant roast flavours. Bittersweet finish with malt to the fore but with a light bitterness and dryness; crisp and clean. Amber in colour. Generally, 4.8-6% ABV. SRM 10-26.
Traditional bocks are copper to dark. Toasty, bready flavours and caramel notes are present, while hop bitterness is only there as a complement to the malt, clean. No burnt character. These are not Doppelbocks. Helles Bock are lighter in colour and grouped in with Maibocks (see Seasonal category). 6.3-7.2% ABV. SRM 14-30.
Czech Style Pale
Influenced by Czech Pilsners. Colour ranges from pale to deep yellow gold; toasted grain and floral, herbal, grassy hop aromas. Ripe, juicy malt and tangy hops with light citrus fruit in the mouth; a light amount of diacetyl is acceptable. Long, lingering finish, balanced between malt dryness and hop bitterness. Medium body. Usually 3.5-5.5% ABV though ‘Spezials’ can be stronger. Low diacetyl is acceptable but doesn’t have to be there; can also include beers designated as Specianli, Kvasnicové (“yeast beer”) and 10°. SRM 3-7.
Deep copper to dark brown. Malt-accented with dark grain, chocolate and coffee notes. Hops are light but give good solid underpinning to the malt. Includes Dunkel, Schwarzbier and tmavy (and Cerné) ležák (with the latter low to moderate diacetyl is acceptable). Generally, 4.4-5.6% ABV but can go above. SRM 14-28.
Light gold to deep gold. Rich and mellow toasted malt on aroma and palate, with spicy hops and some light citrus fruit in the mouth and the palate. Low level of sulphur is acceptable. Generally, 5-6% ABV. SRM 4-7.
Light to heavy gold in colour with malt sweetness and a light dusting of floral and spicy hops on aroma and palate. Clean tasting with a long gentle finish of malt and light hop bitterness. A low level of sulphur is acceptable. Can include Austrian Märzen. Generally, 4.8-5.6% ABV. SRM 3-5.
Deep gold to amber in colour, clean, toasty, bready and rich; soft sweetness; hop character restrained; medium body; dry finish. Please see note about Austrian Marzen in Helles/Münchener. 5.8-6.3% ABV. SRM 4-17.
Deep gold to dark brown. This includes Dunkler Doppelbock, Doppelbock and Eisbock. Heady alcoholic nose with a grainy maltiness (alcohol should be integrated and not too ‘hot’); medium- to full-bodied; can have a medium sweetness and a medium carbonation; possibility of roasty malt notes reminiscent of chocolate, dry fruits and coffee. Generally, 6.5-12% ABV, though the odd example has been known to reach 14%. SRM 6-35.
A highly attenuated pale lager without strong flavours, typically well-balanced and highly carbonated — in the tradition of typical international lagers such as Asahi Super Dry, Corona Extra and Heineken. Served cold, it is refreshing and thirst-quenching. A light amount of DMS or corn aroma is not a fault. 4.6-6% ABV. SRM 2-6.
Straw to light gold in colour; light graininess on the nose alongside delicate flowery/citrusy notes. Crisp on the mouth feel, with notes of mellow toasted grain and juicy citrus, followed by a dry finish alongside a lingering clean bitterness. No diacetyl. Dry hopped Pilseners should go into the Hoppy Pilsener category. 4.4-5.3% ABV. SRM 2-5.
Pale gold to light amber, this covers lagers that have been dry-hopped (usually, but not always, with New World varieties); clean hop aroma, citrusy, floral, piney and/or fruity. Rich complex maltiness with a soft to high bitterness. Can include India Pale Lager. Generally 4.4%-6.5% . SRM 3-9.
Zwickl / Pale Kellerbier
Pale to light amber in colour, clou dy ( more on the hoppy side (more or less an unfiltered Pilsener), may have some malty sweetness, quite bitter finish. Rather high carbonation, no dry hopping, very low level of diacetyl allowed. 4.5 5.5% ABV. SRM 2 15.
Amber/Dark Kellerbier a nd Rotbier (red lager)
Amber to dark brown in colour, cloudy ( well balanced or even more malty aroma, only very low level of roasted malt. Caramel/crystal malt is typical also some malt sweetness. Rather low carbonation, no dry hopping, low level of diacetyl allowed. With the Rotbier, some of them may have experienced low level barrel ageing so aromas of vanilla and caramel are allowed as well as low level dry hopping 4.8 5 8% ABV. SRM 10 25.
Seasonal: Maibock/Helles Bock
Deep gold to light amber in colour; grainy-sweet malt with a light toastiness and often a delicate floral/spicy note on nose; grainy sweet malt and some toasty notes on the palate, may have moderate hop bitterness, clean and well-attenuated, moderately dry finish. ABV can vary but can go up to 8%. SRM 6-11.
Lagers that will have been specifically brewed to have a low carbohydrate and calorie content. Generally 2.6-4.5% ABV, though some can be higher. Colours can vary.
Can include any flavours, must be below 2.5 can be warm or top fermented. SRM can vary.
Amber to dark copper; must be below 2.5%.
Can be Bavarian or Belgian and can also include flavoured wheat beers. 0-2.5% ABV SRM 2-12.
Lagers of any style that either have no alcohol or are less than 2.5% ABV. Colours can vary
Moderate malt with light hop aroma and moderate bitterness on palate. Some citrus hints. 0-2.5% ABV. SRM 4-12.
No or low alcohol versions of any of the beers in the IPA category must be below 2.5 SRM
Sour & Wild
No- or low-alcohol versions of any of the beers in the sour/wild category. 0-2.5% ABV. Colours can vary.
No- or low-alcohol versions of any of the beers in the Speciality category. 0-2.5% ABV. Colours can vary.
Stout & Porter
No- or low-alcohol versions of any of the beers in the Stout & Porter category. 0-2.5% ABV. SRM 17-30+.
(including: Irish Reds)
Reddish-brown in colour. Definite malt character on the palate with caramel-influenced earthiness, toffee and milky coffee hints and a restrained roastiness; hop bitterness is medium while the fruitiness can range from a delicate citrus character to American style assertiveness. Medium body. 4-7% ABV. SRM: 10 – 17
Vinous fruit and malt sweetness on aroma and palate alongside biscuity malt and spicy hops throughout. Bittersweet in finish but with good bitter hop balance; American-style barley wines have a bigger hop character working in conjunction with the malt. Full-bodied. Colour ranges from dark gold to light amber. Can also include wheat wine. Generally, 8-12% ABV. SRM 8-11.
Belgian Style Blonde
Light to deep gold. Honeyed sweetish nose with citrus notes and a hint of candy sugar sweetness, sometimes banana esters make an appearance; palate is a balance of moderate-to-high carbonation, creamy maltiness, light honey, bitterness is low, citrus, hints of phenolic-like spiciness and dry finish. 6-7.5% ABV. SRM 4-7.
Belgian Style Strong
Ripe banana and pear notes on the nose with spicy hoppiness and a peppery suggestion of alcohol; rich fruity palate with orchard fruits to the fore, grainy, cereal notes mid palate, warming alcohol, spicy hop and a fruity, dry finish. Colour ranges from pale gold to copper. Medium to high carbonation and some can have a light body for a beer of its strength; not to be confused with a Tripel. May contain spices like coriander. 7-11% ABV. SRM 3.5-10.
Belgian Style Triple
Pale to medium-amber. Complex honeyed nose with delicate orange notes (though also some banana-like esters), a restrained sweetness and even a hint of pineapple and ripe peach skin; can also have a perfumed hoppiness. The mouth feel on the palate is full with rich citrus and tropical fruit notes, a creamy maltiness and a bittersweet and often warming finish. Moderate to high carbonation. May contain spices like coriander. 7.5-9.5% ABV. SRM 4-9.
Biére De Garde / Saison
This also includes Farmhouse ales. Warm fermented but may use lager yeast. Saison has a flinty, spicy, peppery nose with spice, hops, herbal notes, a restrained sweetness and a dry finish; bière de garde is a very close cousin, though it classically has a deeper malt character. May be pale, copper, or russet. There may be also a Brettanomyces character giving a slightly acidic, horsey or leather-like note (Farmhouse Ales). Generally, 6.5-8% ABV but some very traditional saisons (ie pre WW2 style) can be lower. SRM 4-14.
Bitter over 5.5%
Estery nose, suggestive of soft fruit, banana perhaps, along with Seville orange style citrusiness plus an undercurrent of rich biscuity malt (bitters with US or Aus/NZ hops will show different aromatic and fruity characteristics); palate is thicker, fatter than bitters of a lower ABV, fruity, has a firm malty backbone, and an assertive bittersweet finish that swells with time. Low carbonation. Can include ESBs. SRM 5-12.
Bitter up to 4.5%
Grainy, bittersweet nose with a dash of citrus or tropical fruit hoppiness; the palate is bittersweet, biscuity, light, citrusy leading to a dry bittersweet finish. Medium to moderately high bitterness. Low carbonation. Pale amber to medium copper, though some might nudge the golden edge of the spectrum. SRM 8-16.
Light floral, spicy or herbal nose with sweet corn notes and even DMS at low levels; palate is well-attenuated and crisp with low-to-moderate malty sweetness and low hop bitterness with neither dominating, and a low-to-medium sweetcorn flavour common. Traditionally a sparkling ale version of American light lager. Generally, 4.2-7.5% ABV. SRM: 2-5.
Light maltiness features, citrus fruit, well-defined hop aroma (UK or New World varieties) and mellow bitterness. Light yellow to deep gold/light amber in colour, clear to brilliant. Juicy malt on palate and the finish has continuing hop bitterness and fruit. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 2-7.
Soft hint of fruit on nose (possibly strawberry, pear, apple, Riesling-style grape); palate is soft, creamy with light fruit and perfume-like hops; body is light to medium-light; slightly dry but also crisp. Modern Kolsch can show more bitterness while the ester fruitiness is dialled down. Generally, 4.5-5% ABV. SRM 3-6.
Includes summer ales, which have a golden hue and lightness in their malt and hop footprint; ruddier harvest and autumnal beers that make use of the new season’s malt and hops; also includes green hop beers. ABV varies. SRM 2-14.
Belgian Style Ale
Amber in colour, though can veer towards golden shades; nose can feature mild notes of caramel, gently toasted Demerara and delicate fruitiness (possibly orange). Palate can feature caramel, some roasted malt, fruit (orange or even banana), a very slight undercurrent of yeast spiciness (though not as assertive as found in other Belgian styles), while finish is crisp, dry and restrained in its bitterness. Light to medium body. 4-7% ABV. SRM 8-14.
Bitter 4.5 to 5.5%
Grainy, bittersweet nose as with the other bitters, with a slightly greater ABV, and even more pronounced tropical fruit and citrus notes; the palate is bittersweet, biscuity, full, citrusy leading to a dry bittersweet finish. Fuller mouth feel. Low carbonation. SRM 5-14.
American Style Pale Ale
Deep gold to copper or light brown; moderate to strong fruit on nose with hop aromas showing off fruity, floral US hops. Fruity and hoppy on palate, medium bodied, bitterness in finish alongside dryness. Includes New England/Hazy/Juicy Pale Ale. Generally 4.4-5.5% ABV though some can be higher. SRM 6-14.
English Style Pale Ale
Gold to copper in colour. Light maltiness and delicate earthy, herbal English hops on the nose; medium bodied with biscuity maltiness, fruity citrus and a bitter finish. 4.4-5.8%. SRM 5-12.
Brazilian Pale Ale
Colour is pale to gold, high foam formation, with good duration. Chill haze is acceptable. Medium-low to medium intensity of malt aroma and flavour, with hints of cereal, bread crust, no caramel. Slightly sweet finish. Aroma and flavour of typical Brazilian hops with medium to medium-high bitterness with floral, herbal and/or light citrus fruity aromas. Fermentation characteristics has topical yellow fruit esters present at medium to medium-high levels. May have a slight spice reminiscent of cloves. Medium-low to moderate body, high drinkability, crispy finish.Generally 3.8-5% ABV. SRM 3-7.
Pale gold to amber gold (though there can be darker versions, where there is a possibility of a roasty or even smoky aroma); can be hazy; tart, light lemon, sightly spicy from the use of coriander, fresh ozone on the nose due to salt being added; tart and refreshing on the palate; finish can be dry and lemony; generally, 4-5% ABV (flavoured Gose goes into the flavoured category). Sourness can be quite low or even absent, saltiness and coriander should always be clearly noticable. SRM 3-20.
Lambic into which cherries have been added; the result is tart, sour and dry. Some breweries have started adding sugar and/or cherry juice, which results in a much sweeter Kriek. Generally, 4-8%. SRM 6-28.
Modern contemporary beer that makes use of either wild yeast strains, lactobacillus and/or pediococcus without being influenced by historical styles; can be kettle-soured or aged in wood. Can be quenching, refreshing, tart and complex, show earthy, ‘barnyard’ notes influenced by Brettanomyces or lactic-style acidity; also included dry-hopped variants though hop character should be well-integrated into the beer and now over dominate. Also known as Wild Ale. ABVs and colours can vary.
Tart and refreshing; low in bitterness; light in colour; low in alcohol. Normally fermented with multiple yeasts/wild yeasts/bacteria (incl. Brettanomyces). Can be hazy, has a high carbonation. Flavoured versions go into the Flavoured category. 2.8-5% ABV. There are also wood aged and strong versions also versions with the use of herbs (woodruff) and fruits (though the latter should go into Flavoured). SRM 2-4.
Blend of old and young beer aged in stainless steel, sometimes called East Flanders Brown. Red-brown in colour with sweet-sour aromas on the nose, sometimes reminiscent of vinegar. The palate is fruity, quenching, gently tart, with hints of dark malts, vanilla, caramel sweetness and sometimes sour cherry. Generally, 4.8-6% ABV, though some can be stronger. SRM 12-25.
Flanders Red Ale
Blend of old and young beers that have been aged in wood; sometimes called West Flanders Red. Deep red in colour with a good clarity. Nose is sour, fruity and vinous; on the palate acidity is balance by fruitiness (could be plum, cherry, orange), red wine tannic-like dryness in the finish. Generally, 4.6-6.5%, though Grand Crus can be stronger. SRM 10-16.
Gold to light amber. Blend of Lambics of several ages producing a champagne style spritziness, grapefruit tanginess and a long dry finish. Generally, 5.3-8% ABV. SRM 3-14.
Gold to medium amber. Tart acidic beers fermented with wild yeast — sharp grapefruit/lemon nose with earthy ‘horse-blanket’ notes and an acidic, quenching and refreshing palate and a dry finish. Generally, 5-7.5% ABV. SRM 3-12.
Lambic into which raspberries have even added; the result is tart, fruity, sour and dry. 5-7% ABV. SRM 3-14.
Beer with Oud Bruin/lambic base flavoured with various fruits (excluding cherries or raspberries), featuring tart, slightly acidic notes plus earthy ‘horse-blanket’ character; some will be sweeter than others. The colour will represent the choice of fruit. Generally, 4-7% ABV. SRM 3-14.
Moderate to low foam formation and retention. Malt aroma and flavour reminiscent of bread, wheat and/or oats. Hop aroma and flavour are low and no evident bitterness. Fermentation characteristics have a first lactic fermentation hint, that gives a clean sensorial profile of moderate to light acidity. Diacetyl must not be present. The body is low to medium-low. The finish is refreshing, crispy dry to medium-dry, depending on fruit added. Background: style is a way of interpreting Berliner Weisse, because of the rich German heritage in southern Brazil. This means they are lactic acid/kettle sour beers, but not with wild fermentation/brettanomyces. ABV can vary. Colour varies according to fruit(s) and/or spice(s) used.
Warm fermented. Colour ranges from pale to a hefty dark brown verging on black. The nose can be fresh and sparkling, with the aromatics including a delicate burst of citrus alongside medicinal, yeasty herbal notes; the palate is brisk with a high carbonation, soft and moussec-like mouth feel and include herbal and lemony notes, while the finish has a champagne-like dryness. As well as being imbued with the spritziness of champagne, it can often remind the drinker of a dry dessert wine such as Monbazillac. Most are strong in alcohol, up to 12%, though there are examples of much weaker ones at around 5%. Brut IPA should go into the speciality IPA section. SRM 4-20.
Anything that will not fit any other style and is something completely new and special. If an experimental beer has been submitted, please tell us why it is experimental. ABV and colour can vary.
Can be ales, lagers or wheat beers, a variety of colours and ABVs, but must have less than 20 parts per million gluten (20ppm).
Cold fermented and brewed with high proportion of rice (but not enough to be classified as Happoshu). The ABV ranges and colours can vary.
Beer made with a high proportion (15%) of rye. Warm fermented, big dark and spicy malt aroma with dark fruit and peppery hops. Bready, biscuity, grainy palate with dark fruit and hops. For Rye IPA see Speciality IPA. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 10-20.
Medium amber to light copper colour. A hybrid beer with elements of both lager and ale in its character, usually achieved by brewing lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures. Highly effervescent. Also known as California Common. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 10-14.
This can include Grodziskie, Lichtenhainer, pre-Prohibition lager and any other historical beer being brought back to life in small-scale production.
Lichtenhainer — lightly sour and smoked, low bitterness, refreshing, high carbonation. Light in colour. Low in alcohol. 3.5-4.7%. SRM 3-6. Grodziskie — light in colour; high carbonation; crisp mouth feel; low in bitterness; lightly smoky, refreshing; low in alcohol. 2.5-3.3% ABV. SRM 2-6.
Pre-Prohibition lager — clean, refreshing, but bitter pale lager, often showcasing a grainy-sweet corn flavour. All malt or rice-based versions have a crisper, more neutral character. 4.5-6%. SRM 2-6.
Grisette — light and refreshing beers with their origins in the Hainaut region in Belgium; low in alcohol, 3.5-4% (though there are double grisettes); medium bodied mouth feel; light gold in colour, quenching; dry finish; noticeable hop character. 3.5-4.5%. SRM 2-6.
Brewing process that uses grapes, grape juice, grape must, grape lees, and/or wine barrels during fermentation and/or conditioning. Colour can vary according to the malt and grape varieties used. Aroma and palate should feature evidence of the grape, balanced with malt and hops, though it should have a self-evidently grape-like fruitiness. Medium to high carbonation, a low to medium body. Dry and crisp finish. Acidity can be pleasant and help to intensify the dry sensation. 6.5-8%. SRM varies.
A potent stout. Roasted grain to the fore, with dark, burnt fruit and powerful bitterness; chocolate and coffee notes also apparent. A light caramel sweetness can also be evident. Dry finish. 6.5% ABV and upwards. SRM 30+.
Rich dark grain, coffee and chocolate aroma and palate with solid hop bitterness. Long and quenching finish, becoming dry and hoppy but with rich dark grain character. Creamy mouth feel. Generally, 4-6.5% ABV. SRM 20-30.
(including: Dry & Irish)
Roasted grain to the fore, with dark, burnt fruit, a crisp, crunchy dryness and hop bitterness that can be assertive in some (hints of ground espresso coffee beans can also be discerned). In some British stouts a light caramel sweetness can also be evident with hints of dark chocolate; oyster stouts can have an edge of palate acidity/brininess. Generally, 4-5% ABV. SRM 25-50.
(including Baltic Porter and imperial porter)
Dark reddish copper to opaque dark brown with rich malty sweetness containing caramel, toffee, nutty to deep toast, and liquorice notes. Generally, 5.5-9.5% ABV, though some can touch 12%. SRM 17-30.
A very dark, sweet, full-bodied, slightly roasty ale. Often tastes like sweetened espresso. Has a creamy mouth feel usually due to the addition of lactose. Imperial Milk Stouts should go into Imperial Stout. Generally, 3.2-4.8% ABV. SRM 25-40.
Dark brown to black; light coffee and chocolate notes on the nose, low hop aroma. Dark roasted grains and malt on the palate giving a chocolate/coffee note; creamy mouth feel with high residual sweetness. Generally, 3.2-4.8% ABV. SRM 25-40.
Beers made with the addition of oatmeal to the grist or residual/added sugars. Full bodied mouth feel with sweet caramel flavours, low bitterness. Generally, 3.8-7% ABV. SRM 20-40.
Dark brown to black in colour; light roast notes on nose, accompanied by suggestions of fruit, as well as molasses, liquorice and brown sugar. Sweet on the palate with a smooth mouth feel, light roastiness suggestive of chocolate and coffee, with sweetness much in evidence on the finish. Low hop character. Generally 5.5-8% ABV. SRM 30-40.
Colour is dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character. Aromatic roasty aroma, toffee-like, caramel, chocolate, coffee or biscuit-like characters may be part of the overall flavour and aroma profile. Generally, 4.3-5.6% ABV. SRM 12-25.
(inc. Weizenbock, Weizendoppelbock and Eisbock)
Spices, raisin fruit, baked bananas and cloves; chocolate notes if dark malts used; brisk carbonation. High ABV. SRM 5-30.
American Style Wheat Beer
Straw to amber; crisp and refreshing, despite name no cloves and banana notes from Weizen should be present; bready and lemony notes on palate and aroma; hop character can veer from low to high, but bitterness is moderate; darker versions might have some caramel and light roast notes; clean tasting; can be made with lager yeast and also have less than 50% of wheat malt. ABV 4-8%. SRM 3-15.
Bavarian Style Hefeweiss
Straw to amber. Hazy. Banana and cloves on the nose with a champagne-like spritziness evident in some; palate is continuation of the bananas and cloves with a medium to high carbonation, can also have an oily texture, finishes cleanly with a sweep of bananas and cloves once more; some caramel notes can be allowed but no roast. Generally, 4.8%-5.9% ABV. SRM 2-20.
Straw to amber; clear. Has a cleaner nose than its Hefeweiss cousin, still the banana and cloves but much more restrained. Palate is prickly with carbonation on the tongue, restrained banana and cloves notes and a dry finish. Generally, 4.8%-5.6% ABV. SRM 2-9.
Belgian Style Witbier
Pale straw to light gold; hazy. Spicy, herby nose that is reminiscent of cloves and crushed coriander seed, though banana-like esters and rich orange notes can also be noted. On palate tends to be spicy and almost peppery, with the use of traditional spices such as coriander seeds and curaçao orange peel alongside others such as lemon zest, bergamot, cardamom and ginger. Dry finish with lingering spice. Generally, 4%-7% ABV. SRM 2-4.
Hoppy Wheat Beer
Weizen and Witbier that have been dry hopped, with their usual characteristics still present but integrated with a higher hop profile. ABVs and colours can differ.
A brand design carried across a range of bottles, consisting of a minimum of 4 bottles of different expressions.
A brand design carried across a range of cans, consisting of a minimum of 4 cans of different expressions.
The overall design of the glass or PET bottle: shape, colour, functionality and any embossing, decorative finishes, coatings or direct printed elements as well as visual appeal.
All design elements will be considered including functionality, can shape, texture, printing/labelling.
Considering the best graphic design and the quality of its application.
The shelf-ready outer packaging containing a multi-buy of, for example, 3, 6, 8 or 12 bottles or cans.
Packaging for a new product launched after February 1, 2019.
This applies to the secondary, outer, presentation packaging, such as cartons, boxes, cases, plinths, chests etc. The presentation will be judged on the overall effect with the bottle in place.
This category refers to a new or refreshed packaging design created for an existing product and introduced to the market after February 1, 2019. A picture or sample of the previous packaging must be supplied along with a description of what changes have been made and why
The judging processTASTE
Each beer is tasted in its relevant style to identify and select the style winner in each country. With specialist tasting panels, consisting of international beer experts, the following countries will be judged in country:
All design judging is conducted by a panel of leading international designers.